Disposable Masks: Will They Protect Me from COVID-19?
The world is currently facing a global pandemic of coronavirus. The novel disease, COVID-19, is caused by coronavirus, and it is known for its rapid rate of spread. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). The mode of spread is one thing that makes the virus scary.
Majority of people who contract COVID-19 are asymptomatic, which implies that one can be infected and not be aware if untested. This fact is what supports the logic of wearing disposable masks as the asymptomatic patients are responsible for most of the spread of the disease.
Disposable masks prevent one from contracting the virus through the layers of the masks which filter out both large and smaller particles to disallow inhalation into the nose. In places where social distancing is not possible and cannot be regulated, wearing of masks is the recommended solution. Masks act as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from travelling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the disposable face-covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is referred to as source control by the Center for Disease Control.
This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows face masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of face masks is particularly essential in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Examples of disposable masks include; N95 masks, surgical masks, cloth masks, face shields, etc.
There is scientific evidence to show that wearing of disposable masks at least prevent one from getting coronavirus by 80%. It will prevent infected patients from further spreading to non-infected people and as well prevent non-infected people from contracting from infected patients majorly because the status of anyone cannot be assumed.
Other factors that need to be kept in check include the proper wearing of the mask and the total coverage of nostrils and mouth by the mask as some people turn it to chin masks. Also, it is essential to ensure it is well fitted and comfortable.
Disposable masks will afford protection from coronavirus significantly, but not totally. Hence, do well to observe other precautions such as regular washing of hands, use of sanitizers, social distancing, etc., for a near-perfect control as this is the surest way to curb the spread of the virus.